Blen­heim opens gate­way to Hell

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY HEY­WARD

‘‘It's a great sign of the way the town is de­vel­op­ing and gives us great con­fi­dence that Hell will be suc­cess­ful.’’

Pizza lovers can fi­nally re­joice as Blen­heim is set to wel­come the highly-an­tic­i­pated Hell Pizza to town.

After years of ru­mours and hearsay, Hell Pizza head of­fice has con­firmed it will be open­ing the first of its edgy chain stores in Marl­bor­ough, beat­ing the high­lyan­tic­i­pated Kmart to the mark.

Hell Pizza gen­eral man­ager Ben Cum­ming was pleased to an­nounce Hell Pizza was com­ing to town and was ex­pect­ing a great re­sponse from Marl­buri­ans.

‘‘The ru­mour mill has been run­ning hot for a while now that Hell is com­ing to Blen­heim, so we ex­pect that lo­cals will be very ex­cited to hear that it’s ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing,’’ he said.

The store, be­ing de­vel­oped be­side Speight’s Ale House on Mid­dle Ren­wick Rd, was ex­pected to open its doors to ea­ger cus­tomers by Oc­to­ber.

The per­ma­nent store was bought by Ale House owner John Derry, and while he de­clined to com­ment, he said in the past the prospect of a wine bar, pizza store and Speight’s Ale House on the same site would make the area a more at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion.

How­ever, details as to whether a wine bar would be open­ing were to be con­firmed, Cum­ming said.

Cum­ming said he had been in talks with Derry for quite some time about set­ting up a Hell Pizza store in Blen­heim and the details had just been fi­nalised this week.

While the de­signs for the store were still be­ing worked on, the restau­rant would likely be a small out­let with a casual dining area.

The gates of Hell would be open seven days a week and would in­clude an ‘‘iden­ti­cal’’ menu to the other Hell Pizza stores around the coun­try, in­clud­ing the full range of gourmet piz­zas, kids’ meals, sal­ads, pasta, sides and desserts, as well as veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan op­tions.

With Kmart set to open its doors in Blen­heim in early 2019, Cum­ming said it was a great time to bring the Hell to Blen­heim as it was a sign the town was on the up.

‘‘To be hon­est I wasn’t even aware Kmart was open­ing in Blen­heim. But it’s a great sign of the way the town is de­vel­op­ing and gives us great con­fi­dence that Hell will be suc­cess­ful there,’’ he said.

Hell Pizza was also rolling out Hell on Wheels, a mo­bile food truck, to 30 lo­ca­tions around the coun­try, in­clud­ing Nel­son, Gis­borne, Whakatane, Palmer­ston North, Ash­bur­ton and Grey­mouth.

The 6.5 me­tre-long food trucks in­clude a pizza oven, ca­pa­ble of cook­ing 80 dou­ble piz­zas per hour, a re­frig­er­a­tor, deep fryer, sink, an ex­te­rior au­dio sys­tem and on-site ta­bles.

Hell on Wheels’ model fea­tured a fully op­er­a­tional mo­bile kitchen that could be parked up at per­ma­nent or semi-per­ma­nent sites in ar­eas where the pop­u­la­tion wasn’t quite big enough to sup­port a bricks and mor­tar store.

The first two Hell on Wheels busi­nesses launched in Whanganui and Cam­bridge in March and had proved suc­cess­ful, Cum­ming said.

There would also be four trucks used for events only in Auck­land, Welling­ton, Waikato and South Is­land.

PHOTO: HELL PIZZA

Blen­heim pizza lovers will get a taste of the dev­il­ishly good Hell Pizza when the out­let opens in the town later this year. Ben Cum­ming

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